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More that one instance of Windows installed


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#1 Eric Salvi

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:11 AM

So since reformatting my hard drive and reinstalling windows xp, I made a back up of the hard drive and I guess partitioned a new part of it for the new installation of my windows xp. Ever since then I have a choice of picking between 2 windows options at startup. I look in my C drive and see the normal folders, but I also have a E drive that has a "Holder" folder that I wanted to save all my files and go through it later on that same hard drive and see a "windows" folder. I was thinking is the computer looking at those files and can see 2 versions of Windows Xp installed on my computer?

How do I get rid of the old windows instances so it can automatically start up with the current windows xp without me having to select the windows xp and then hitting enter everytime I turn on my computer?

Also a year ago or so my local computer repair said my hard drive was bad and I needed to buy a new one. I went into the place knowing that the problem was my graphics card so after buying a new hard drive I told them I wanted my old hard drive back. I have my old hard drive with all of the files still on it (so I wouldn't loose all my files) as a secondary hard drive labeled as D. This one too has a "windows" folder.

Thanks all I really found a lot of useful stuff here at BC.

Eric

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:33 AM

Regardless of how many installs of Windows may be on a system...it doesn't matter to boot.ini unless they are bootable versions on those partitions or drives.

Example: I have cloned my C: (XP Home) partition on this system...to a different partition on same hard drive. Because it is an exact copy of my C: partition, when I boot my system it reflects 2 installs of XP.

If I wanted to change that (for whatever reason), I would have to change the bootable status of the cloned copy.

I think there's a problem with simply editing the boot.ini file...because I think Windows detects partitions based on how they are made/constructed (bootable/non-bootable). A bootable partition is defined by me as one with an O/S with the capability of being booted at system startup.

The only way that I know to change that...would be to delete the Windows folder on the 2d partition...and then edit the boot.ini file. That would turn the partition into a data partition, rather than a system partition (I think).

Usually, the problem is that a user wants to create a bootable partition from a non-bootable...not the other way around.

Louis

#3 Eric Salvi

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:45 AM

If I wanted to change that (for whatever reason), I would have to change the bootable status of the cloned copy.


When you say for whatever reason do people usually just leave it alone?

I honestly don't know how I made it so that partitioned section is a bootable windows as well. Honestly do you think I should wait for the exact solution or you are pretty sure that is how you do it?

Also where would the boot.ini file be and what would you do to change it so it is just one instance of windows being deleted and not the one on the main C drive?

#4 hamluis

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 01:12 PM

<<When you say for whatever reason do people usually just leave it alone?>>

Honestly speaking...you are the first person who has ever asked such. There's no reason for for a user not to want to know that there is another bootable partition, other than your expressed preference.

<<I honestly don't know how I made it so that partitioned section is a bootable windows as well. Honestly do you think I should wait for the exact solution or you are pretty sure that is how you do it?>>

I can't answer that for you...it's your system. I've provided you with my opinions, some are based on fact...no harm in wating for the opinions of others, if you think that will help.

You can always use Google to obtain additional opinions, do checks, etc.

<<Also where would the boot.ini file be and what would you do to change it so it is just one instance of windows being deleted and not the one on the main C drive?>>

How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;289022

Easy, safe way of correcting the boot.ini: Removing the invalid entries from Boot.ini - http://windowsxp.mvps.org/bootopt.htm

Louis

#5 Eric Salvi

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 01:34 PM

I actually tried that

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/bootopt.htm

Walk through and didn't know there was a "check all boot paths" there.

It appears that the following line in the BOOT.INI file does not refer to a valid operating system:

"multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional " /fastdetect"

Would you like to remove it from the BOOT.INI file?


I got the message and hit yes and it deleted the error. So maybe when I restart now it wont show the second windows.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:04 PM

Well...it sounds to me as if you had 3 Windows folders, each bootable:

a. Original XP on C:

b. Duplicate install (Windows.0) on C:

c. What you call your D: partition/drive.

It also sounded to me as if your boot.ini ought to reflect all 3 installs (possibly).

To determine the location of the installs...note the lines in the boot.ini file which reflect disk and partition.

Disk0 is the first hard drive attached, partition1 is the usual location of an XP install.

If your boot.ini file reflects an XP install on any drive other than Disk0, then that's where you should look for an XP install. If your boot.ini file reflects 2 XP installs on Disk0, partition1...that's duplication.

Louis

#7 Eric Salvi

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 10:30 AM

Hey thanks Louis,

In the boot.ini file before was more than one [operating system]

It actually found one from the "check all boot paths" as an error and got rid of it. Now my computer starts up with no selection. That being said do you think it is safe to just delete the D and E drive "windows" folders?

#8 hamluis

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 12:37 PM

It's safe to delete them...if you don't intend to use those versions of Windows for anything ever.

I think it's a good idea for many users...to clone their C: partition to another drive routinely. That would prevent them from crying the blues when things go wrong and they suddenly "discover" that they have no means of reinstalling or repairing XP.

I clone this system...even though I am likely to just do a clean install if something borks my C: (I don't mind doing a clean install and I have backups of all data files I want to keep).

I keep the cloned partition on a different hard drive because...one day I may not want to do a clean install :thumbsup:. In which case, I will just remove the old drive...and insert the other hard drive with the current cloned C: partition. That should take me all of about 3 minutes.

Louis




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